The engineering and construction behemoth Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has decided to take care of the daily requirements of its contract workers and their families, ensuring food and medical assistance, at a time when coronavirus scare has halted the construction activities at its project sites in India and the Middle East. The company has about 2.94 lakh contract workers, according to the last annual report.
SN Subrahmanyan, CEO and MD, L&T, said in his address to the employees, "We employ a huge amount of contract labour who are totally dependent on us for their daily livelihood. It is important for us to protect them at this point of time from the vagaries of work and to ensure that daily needs are provided at both, the essential worksites and their place of stay," he said.
L&T has decided to put across extra vigil at the labour camps in its project sites to ensure proper hygiene and removal of waste, besides making the workers aware of social distancing. They will also take care of the food requirements in the camps.
The engineering giant has extensive manufacturing facilities at Hazira, Vadodara, Ahmednagar, Talegaon, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kattupalli and Oman. The company's projects follow the engineering, procurement and construction model, executing large and complex turnkey projects. The projects are executed by deploying a combination of the company's employees and an extensive contract workforce.
"Many guidelines have been issued both to offices and separately to sites on multiple measures to be carried out to safeguard and protect oneself. The same should also be propagated to our sub-contractors and other concerned in our ecosystem so that we act like responsible citizens," said Subrahmanyan.
He expressed the hope that the world scientific community would come out with means to provide a vaccine quickly to take care of this pandemic. "A pandemic crisis of such magnitude and form has never occurred before. It has disrupted thinking, action along with people's movement, gatherings, supply chain, interaction, travel and such from a business point of view," he added.
Subrahmanyan said that L&T has the responsibility to all its stakeholders that they should ensure business as usual. "Whether we work from offices, sites or home, it should be normal. Extensive use of mobiles, laptops are the forms of communication to be resorted to without disturbing the atmosphere around us and ensure that we continue with our work."
L&T will use heat-sensing cameras to detect people with the illness. Using the labour app (WISA), it will inform the workers on the nature of coronavirus, its symptoms, testing facilities available locally and preventive measures.